If there is anything called rich culture then it is that of the Ghanaian culture. Culture as it is universally defined by the Cambridge English Dictionary is the way people live and relate with others: it could be Inter-personal, Inter-group or Intra-group kind or relation. In the Ghanaian culture, this way of liFe manifests in three dimensions, thus apart from the biological and social dimension; there is also a spiritual dimension. Some cherished socio-cultural morals or ethical values manifest in the people’s ways of Naming children, Greetings, the Variety of foods, Dressing and Speech (proverbs and idioms)
Greeting is an important part of the Ghanaian culture so when you meet someone and do not greet the person, it is assumed you have performed a spiritual exercise that do not permit greeting or you probably have a grouch with that person. With few exceptions, one can only greet another person using the right hand and when greeting a number of people more than one, you must start from the left and end at the right.
Almost all Ghanaians both religious and non religious believe in life after death, therefore it is believed one will live again in heaven if he/she lived a good life on earth or go to hell if he/she lived a bad life. It is also believed that sharing food with others is one good deed that God loves and can help a person to go to a good place after death.
Another first impression one can not overlook is the unique identity that exist among tribes in the country. Ghana has ten administrative regions and over hundred tribes and each tribe has unique naming system. The common thing that exists in all tribes is day names. Every person is given a name based on the day that person was born. As a foreigner, the first thing that gets you connected to the Ghanaian people is finding out the day you were born and getting your day name. For instance in the dominant tribe, Twi a Monday born is called Adjoa if you are a lady and Kojo if you are a guy.
I am a Thursday born (YAW) and my friend Tim is Friday born (KOFI)
Symbols are a key part of the Ghanaian culture. In Ghana, every clan and every kingdom has a symbol usually an animal which carries the message about the qualities of people in that clan. Some symbols and their meanings Parrot – Eloquence, Crow – Persistence, Tiger – Aggressiveness, Antler – Patience, Mudfish – Calmness
In the Ghanaian culture, chiefs are the traditional rulers of every community. Chiefs make by-laws which must be obeyed by the community people and government officials alike. A chief is easily identified by the way of dressing and dresses are unique by regional bases and vary in quality from paramount chief to sub-chief. The chief from the highest kingdom (Paramount chief) wears the most beautiful cloth and the sub-chiefs follow in the same manner.
Paramount chief from southern Ghana and Sub-chief from southern Ghana
Paramount chief from northern Ghana Sub-chief from northern Ghana (pics by Alamy)
In general, ghanaian have a very friendly culture as it is deeply rooted in our coat of arm, “Freedom and Justice”, almost every foreigner can walk alone on the street of Ghana at any part of the day without getting harmed. All Ghanaian comunities practice OBUNTU, a kind of culture where it is believed that “a person is a person because of other persons”.
Alright, the next time you have the opportunity to travel the world, make Ghana your destination because the experience is worth it!!!